Portland bridge deal for HDR

Consultant HDR has won a key Portland bridge deal.
Road Structures / October 19, 2023 1 minute Read
By MJ Woof
HDR has the contract to design an important new bridge link in Portland, Oregon

The consultant HDR has been awarded the design package for Portland’s new Burnside Bridge. The new bridge will be located in downtown Portland, Oregon and will replace an ageing structure that is almost a century old.

The construction project has a total value of around US$895 million and HDR’s contract is to design the new Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge. The contract calls for a structure with a design life of 100 years and that is resistant seismically, as well as offering high functionality for users.

The current bridge crosses the Willamette River and carries around 45,000 vehicles/day, plus thousands more pedestrians and bicyclists. Located in a dense urban area, numerous project constraints complicate the replacement effort. The 670.6m bridge will cross the river as well as nine interstate lanes, two railroad tracks, two light rail lines and several community amenities. A movable bascule span will allow river traffic to pass through with unlimited clearance. The bridge will feature four lanes, a combined bicycle path and pedestrian space. HDR says that it will also be designed to accommodate future Portland Streetcar loads.

The bridge and Burnside Street are an official emergency transportation route, and the bridge is the County’s only non-freeway river crossing designated for use in an emergency. A stringent seismic design criteria will ensure the bridge is functional during and after the imminent Magnitude 8+ Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

To improve collaboration with the selected contractor, the project will be delivered using the construction manager/general contractor method. HDR will work closely with the contractor to deliver a constructable, efficient design that manages all risks.

“As a Portland resident I’m honored to work on what will be a landmark for the city,” said HDR project manager Steve Drahota. “And as an engineer, I’m excited to lead a collaborative team to successfully deliver this technically complex structure. I’ve been working on different phases of the Burnside Bridge project for more than a decade, and crossing the completed bridge will be a highlight of my career.”

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